About the Job

RHD having 1 on 1 with an RA

The Residence Hall Director (RHD) role is a 12-month, full-time Service Professional position that reports directly to an Assistant Director. Download a printable PDF version of the 2015-2016 RHD Job Description.  

Qualifications and Knowledge and Skills

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Bachelor's degree and three years employment experience working with students in a college setting, including two years of Residence Life employment experience 


Master's degree in Student Affairs, College Student Personnel, Counseling, Higher Education Administration, or related field (completed by position start date) and graduate or full-time Residence Life employment experience

Knowledge and skills

  • Knowledge of supervisory practices and principles; supervisory skills 
  • Knowledge of crisis intervention strategies; helping skills 
  • Effective oral and written communications skills; ability to communicate effectively with individuals from a variety of culturally diverse backgrounds 
  • Knowledge of administrative practices; organizational skills 
  • Knowledge of student development theory and practice 
  • Ability to work independently and meet multiple task deadlines 
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective student and staff relationships 
  • Understanding of and commitment to a multicultural/diverse campus community 
  • Awareness of and commitment to the mission of the Housing and Residence Life and Northern Arizona University 


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The Residence Hall Director (RHD) role is a live-in position responsible for the total administration and operation of a residential community. RHDs are expected to provide welcoming and vibrant communities that foster personal growth and enhance the student experience. RHDs do this through staff and student development, resident outreach, community building, attention to facilities, and administrative organization. RHDs manage residence halls ranging in size from 350 to 780 residents.


Staff Supervision and Development:   

  • Hire, train, supervise, and evaluate 5-22 Resident Assistants and front desk staff. In some cases, supervise a Senior Resident Assistant and/or Graduate Assistant(s). Also, in some instances, supervise student custodian(s). 
  • Attend and assist in facilitating departmental Resident Assistant training. Plan and implement in-hall staff training sessions. 
  • Work with staff members individually to encourage growth and development. 
  • Organize and facilitate staff development activities to promote a strong sense of team and support, and to respond to staff concerns. 
  • Guide Resident Assistants in the implementation of the departmental community building model and resident outreach at the hall level. 
  • Develop skills of Resident Assistants in peer helping and referral techniques. 
  • Provide staff members with ongoing positive and constructive feedback. Handle individual staff concerns as they arise. 
  • Facilitate weekly staff meeting(s). 

Student & Community Development:

  • Interact with residents from a wide variety of age groups and social backgrounds, providing them with personal and administrative support necessary in developing an inclusive community environment.
  • Possess a strong understanding and commitment to the development of students.
  • Implement the departmental ‘Model of Development and Learning’ into community building efforts, incorporating self-authorship theory, to promote the development of Self, Relationships & Community, Success Skills, & Integration. 
  • Advise the elected hall/community association officers and student staff to coordinate an effective hall organization. Attend hall/community association meetings.
  • Become acquainted with students living in the hall and provide personal and administrative support necessary in developing an inclusive community environment.
  • Work with students to develop and maintain an atmosphere conducive to study and community living, and encourage students to take responsibility for developing a community atmosphere.
  • Counsel, advise, and provide appropriate referrals for residents in need of professional services.
  • Handle emergency or crisis situations appropriately as they arise.
  • Apply conflict resolution skills and counseling techniques when responding to student crisis situations.
  • Be familiar with and enforce the rules and regulations of Northern Arizona University and Housing and Residence Life.
  • Direct hall-level student conduct efforts for Housing and Residence Life and the Office of Student Life. Address inappropriate behavior of students incorporating a student development perspective and in following due process, determine fair and appropriate sanctions. Make conduct and counseling referrals as appropriate.
  • Initiate change, and develop and implement new ideas and concepts to improve the quality of life within the residence hall.
  • In some cases, provide programmatic and administrative support to Residential Learning Communities located in the hall.


  • Communicate regularly with Assistant Director, providing accurate and detailed information, and keep supervisor informed of events in the hall on a timely basis.
  • Maintain office hours as determined by community needs.
  • Open and close a residence hall at the beginning and end of each semester. Submit summary closing report at the end of each semester.
  • Facilitate residence hall operations including student room assignments, in-hall and between-hall transfers, paid vacancy sales, and other housing operations.
  • Utilize online and desktop programs to manage facilities work orders, hall occupancy, and hall resources (StarRez).
  • Provide, coordinate, and supervise desk coverage. Monitor and/or administer student employee scheduling and payroll preparation.
  • Review and authorize expenditures to keep the residence hall in operating order, ensuring that budgetary guidelines are followed. Budgets include staff development, community building, hall/community association, office supplies, and payroll. 
  • Attend Hall Leadership Meetings and area meetings held on a regularly scheduled basis.
  • Participate in departmental committees and task forces.
  • Teach a pre-service, credit-bearing RA class. 
  • Serve as a liaison to maintenance and custodial staff. Report, track, and follow up on facilities issues in the hall. Advocate for facilities improvements to enhance student development and academic success within a residential setting.
  • Tour and inspect facilities to ensure building security and safety; recommend modifications in policy and procedure to upgrade safety and security of facilities. Facilitate monitoring of security system (Lenel).
  • Provide and share on-call coverage for campus, including weekend and holiday coverage. 


Summer Responsibilities:

Housing and Residence Life serves a variety of populations for the summer months including NAU students, special program participants, and conference guests from all over the United States and other countries. RHDs help ensure continuity of all departmental operations during the summer. Residence halls that close for the summer may necessitate a temporary move to another residence hall during that time. As the Housing and Residence Life summer program is a department-wide effort, summer responsibilities may include the following: 

  • Hire, train, supervise, and evaluate student summer housing assistants.
  • Supervise student summer housing assistant programming team.
  • Attend weekly full summer staff meetings/Hall Leadership Meetings.
  • Serve on at least one special projects team.
  • Participate in on-call rotation for campus community; serve as first responder if/when hall is open.
  • Manage building preparation and turnovers related to population of residence hall. 
  • Organize and manage building front desk, including staffing needs. 
  • Conduct regular building walkthroughs and follow up on maintenance/custodial concerns.
  • Maintain regular communication with departmental, campus, and guest constituencies related to the population of residence hall. 
  • Maintain a high standard of customer service. 

Terms of Employment

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Period of employment:
The Residence Hall Director is a 12 month (July to July), full-time 40-hour/week position with some weekend and evening commitments. Start date for current position is immediate upon completion of hiring paperwork.

Work Hours:
This position is full-time (40 hour week) with some weekend and evening commitments. Full-time RHDs receive 22 days of paid vacation (used primarily during the Winter and May downtime breaks). RHDs are expected to be on campus at least two weekends per month and for the following events: Opening & Closing, Homecoming, Family Weekend, and RA Selection weekends. 

Background Checks:
Employment is contingent upon a satisfactory outcome of a criminal history check, employment verification, and a fingerprint check.

Salary and Position Benefits

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  • Salary for 12-month position is $30,000 - $32,000.
  • Furnished one or two-bedroom apartment, including utilities, nice carpet, ceramic tile, queen bed, and comfortable furniture.
  • Full Northern Arizona University benefits package.
  • Comprehensive state health plans (including medical, dental, vision, short-term disability, and flexible spending accounts).
  • Participation in the Arizona State Retirement System or Optional Retirement Plan.
  • 10 paid holidays per year; 22 days of paid vacation that are primarily taken during the winter and May downtime breaks
  • 12 sick days per year
  • Domestic partner housing, health benefits, and other assistance for eligible partners and dependents
  • Reduced tuition rates for employee and eligible dependents; $25 for 1-9 credits/semester (classes taken with supervisor's permission).
  • $2,500/calendar year meal plan (meals provided when class is in session)
  • $200/academic year laundry allowance
  • Local phone and wired and wireless high-speed internet.
  • Basic cable (60+ channels) with option to purchase premium channels.
  • Pofessional development opportunities.
  • Reserved parking space (staff member is responsible for the purchase of parking permit).